10 things i wish someone would have told me

One of the first photos of the three kids when we
adopted the girls in 2008.

When we adopted our daughters in 2008 they were ages 4 and 6. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Sometimes it just makes things hard. We never planned to adopt older kids. We didn’t research and read and investigate what it meant to adopt older kids. We simply walked through the open doors. We expected them to close.

They didn’t.

We really didn’t have time to research and read and investigate in the 10 days between receiving a phone call and bringing our daughters home.

Five years later, in January 2013, we brought our son home. He was seven at the time. It has been a much smoother transition. I’d like to think it’s because we know some things we didn’t before.

Here’s a little list of things I wish someone would have told me about adopting older children.

  1. Scripture. Read it.
  2. Love more. Believe healing happens through love.
  3. Go for a walk. Every single day. You can find 10 minutes.
  4. Prioritize JOY. Smile. Laugh. Find the humor in the sticky floor or the stomping feet or the standing on the nightstand and belting out the Star-Spangled Banner at 10:15 pm.
  5. You are made for this. It isn’t a mistake. And pieces of yourself will return.
  6. Free will. You will understand it like never before, and you’ll question why we have it.
  7. The house is about to GET LOUD. Even when they aren’t mad, they are loud. Then they get louder.
  8. God is good. All the time.
  9. Let others help. Say, “YES, THANK YOU!” to the offer of a meal or taking a kid for an hour or help cleaning out the closet.
  10. Sit down. You’ll be exhausted. Ignore the mess. Give yourself permission to do something you like to do.
(Check out our bare bones adoption story by clicking the tab under the header titled Writing Territories.)

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  1. Having four kids is exhausting, and loud, no matter what! Happy to see your advice. Many will feel supported from this, Ruth! My mother had four siblings. She used to tell me that my grandmother took a walk after dinner every day. We understood why, & I'm glad to see you taking that time, too.

  2. All true! Some are way harder, I think, at least sometimes, to believe and to do. Now you have me thinking what I would put on a list like this.